We are beginning to wear our electronics on our bodies and in our clothing and eventually in our bodies. It all started with hearing aids and glasses. Early hearing aids were simple cones and other sound collecting devices. Modern hearing aids are digital electronics and can filter and augment the sound they relay inside the ear. Glasses began as simple lenses in frames and have progressed to contact lenses and now to augmented reality displays. Google goggles is a smartphone app that searches based on snapshots from the phone camera. But Google is also working on Project Glass which will transfer those capabilities and much more to a smart headset.
Today, Google offered a preview of Project Glass, their search giant’s augmented reality glasses. The video above shows a possible (probably best-case) reality of the glasses in action.
You may already know about or even use Google Goggles the app (which we think is pretty good at a lot of things), and in theory, Project Glass is sort of the über Google Goggles. You don’t need to clumsily interact with your phone. Your eyes and voice do the all the interaction, but the use cases (making calls, sending texts, getting directions, responding to notifications, and so on) are very much like a smartphone you wear on your head.
You Will Want Google Goggles – [technologyreview.com]
At first glance, Thad Starner does not look out of place at Google. A pioneering researcher in the field of wearable computing, Starner is a big, charming man with unruly hair. But everyone who meets him does a double take, because mounted over the left lens of his eyeglasses is a small rectangle. It looks like a car’s side-view mirror made for a human face. The device is actually a minuscule computer monitor aimed at Starner’s eye; he sees its display—pictures, e-mails, anything—superimposed on top of the world, Terminator-style.
Starner’s heads-up display is his own system, not a prototype of Project Glass, Google’s recently announced effort to build augmented-reality goggles. In April, Google X, the company’s special-projects lab, posted a video in which an imaginary user meanders around New York City while maps, text messages, and calendar reminders pop up in front of his eye—a digital wonderland overlaid on the analog world. Google says the project is still in its early phases; Google employees have been testing the technology in public, but the company has declined to show prototypes to most journalists, including myself.
Ladies And Gentlemen, Start Your Wearable Electronic Sensors – [fastcompany.com]
Professional racing is an extreme sport. Drivers battle super-hot temperatures and G-forces for hours. To survive a race, let alone win one, a driver needs to be in top physical health.
A startup called MC10 based in Cambridge, Mass., is making wearable electronics that could change the way drivers train and stay on track during races. In the future, they hope to help all kinds of athletes up their game.
Through the thin plastic sensors worn on the arm like a transluscent patch, a driver’s team can monitor the driver continously during a race, keeping tabs on their level of energy and hydration, fixing both car and driver at break points in the race. “Think about it as a pit stop for the driver,” Ben Schlatka, MC10′s cofounder and VP of business development, says. The sensors will be designed to be specific to their use, but can detect temperature, electrical signals to pick up heart, brain, and muscle activity, measure hydration levels, and even detect motion.
MC10′s sensors are made of the same materials that regular electronics are–a combination of semiconducting silicon and metal electrodes. The difference here is that these sensors have been engineered to be bendable, stretchable, light, and extremely sensitive. This makes wearing them a dramatically different experience than wearing conventional electrodes and monitors that are rigid and tough.
Clothing the body electric – [sc.edu]
Over the years, the telephone has gone mobile, from the house to the car to the pocket. The University of South Carolina’s Xiaodong Li envisions even further integration of the cell phone – and just about every electronic gadget, for that matter – into our lives.
He sees a future where electronics are part of our wardrobe.
“We wear fabric every day,” said Li, a professor of mechanical engineering at USC. “One day our cotton T-shirts could have more functions; for example, a flexible energy storage device that could charge your cell phone or your iPad.”
Li is helping make the vision a reality. He and post-doctoral associate Lihong Bao have just reported in the journal Advanced Materials how to turn the material in a cotton T-shirt into a source of electrical power.
New graphene-based material could revolutionise electronics industry – [exeter.ac.uk]
The most transparent, lightweight and flexible material ever for conducting electricity has been invented by a team from the University of Exeter.
Called GraphExeter, the material could revolutionise the creation of wearable electronic devices, such as clothing containing computers, phones and MP3 players.
GraphExeter could also be used for the creation of ‘smart’ mirrors or windows, with computerised interactive features. Since this material is also transparent over a wide light spectrum, it could enhance by more than 30% the efficiency of solar panels.
Adapted from graphene, GraphExeter is much more flexible than indium tin oxide (ITO), the main conductive material currently used in electronics. ITO is becoming increasingly expensive and is a finite resource, expected to run out in 2017.